Pond cleaning


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I have raised tropical fish for years and did partial water changes with no deleterious effects. Before I moved down here to Florida I had a 90 gallon planted tank with two gorgeous blue discus. Discus need extremely clean water so I did a 50% water change every week. It was well water and I added nutrients for the plants. The discus were very healthy and grew to full size. (If you don’t do the water changes the discus do not grow well and usually die.) Here in Florida I have been ponding for five years or so. First with a 90 gallon preformed pond, then a 140 gallon, then this past year and a half a 1000 gallon liner pond. I do some occasional vacuuming, but most water that is lost is due to evaporation plus a large water loss when diverting dirty water out of pond from the canister filter when I am cleaning it. I would say around a 150+ gallon loss. (150 gallons out of 1000 gallons is only a 15% water change.) I use water treatment and refill the pond up once a week. If I never took water out and just replaced the evaporated I would think the concentration of chemicals and minerals would just increase over time. I would assume water changes are good for the fish. Natural ponds lose water through the sides and bottom (they have no liner) and often a small river may feed the pond new fresh water. Just my thoughts.
 
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@Turtlehead - we are usually careful to mention that tiny ponds (like aquariums) probably do need some level of water change on a regular basis. I keep a small patio pond (about 45 gallons) during the summer and I generally pull 4-6 gallons out every week or so (use that to water my flowers!) and replace it with water from the big pond. Smaller volumes of water are just generally harder to keep in balance like a larger volume of water. Indoor tanks are a whole different story - you get zero interaction from nature, no natural "fill ups" from rain, no bugs and critters and other help from nature. I've always been of the opinion that the "we must do water changes in our ponds" proponents came straight from the aquarium hobby and brought all their understanding and practices over. As time has gone on, we've learned a lot about how to construct a pond so it's more self-sufficient. The hobby continues to progress!

Fresh water isn't "good" for the fish unless there's something wrong with the current water to begin with. The fact that you have to add water treatment kind of reveals that - there's things in that fresh water (in this case chlorine I would guess) that aren't great for fish at all. Your pond will continually lose water through splashing, evaporation, your filter cleaning, and uptake from plants - you'll need to top it off plenty which should address your concern about concentration of harmful chemicals in the water.

It really doesn't matter to me if people want to do weekly water changes. For me it's just one more chore that would eventually cause me to dread pond keeping. I just think it's important for people to have a place to read that it's OK if you never ever ever EVER change your pond water... ever!
 

sissy

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hint I put abs pipe on the bottom of the pond with holes and slits cut in it and it is hooked up to one of the pump hoses and push's the stuff off the bottom of the pond to the filters . I have 2 laguna pumps running so extra sump pump hose goes to the pvc pipes and the abs pipes ,. The more air and the more water moving keeps my pond clean . You can see my spitters and my hoses in my pond build . I have learned to see things differently
 
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brokensword

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@Turtlehead - we are usually careful to mention that tiny ponds (like aquariums) probably do need some level of water change on a regular basis. I keep a small patio pond (about 45 gallons) during the summer and I generally pull 4-6 gallons out every week or so (use that to water my flowers!) and replace it with water from the big pond. Smaller volumes of water are just generally harder to keep in balance like a larger volume of water. Indoor tanks are a whole different story - you get zero interaction from nature, no natural "fill ups" from rain, no bugs and critters and other help from nature. I've always been of the opinion that the "we must do water changes in our ponds" proponents came straight from the aquarium hobby and brought all their understanding and practices over. As time has gone on, we've learned a lot about how to construct a pond so it's more self-sufficient. The hobby continues to progress!

Fresh water isn't "good" for the fish unless there's something wrong with the current water to begin with. The fact that you have to add water treatment kind of reveals that - there's things in that fresh water (in this case chlorine I would guess) that aren't great for fish at all. Your pond will continually lose water through splashing, evaporation, your filter cleaning, and uptake from plants - you'll need to top it off plenty which should address your concern about concentration of harmful chemicals in the water.

It really doesn't matter to me if people want to do weekly water changes. For me it's just one more chore that would eventually cause me to dread pond keeping. I just think it's important for people to have a place to read that it's OK if you never ever ever EVER change your pond water... ever!
not to mention that all the 'impurities' that 'accumulate' over time are generally used by the plants, fish, waterlife as part of their metabolism. Very few things, including heavy metals, don't get consumed in some way. Why do you think our water can have an iron deficiency? Because the plants are using it. I agree; water changes aren't necessary, esp with nature acting on it all the time. But I also agree that water changes aren't going to hurt if you don't change a large amount at one time, you take care of the chlorine issue, and nothing in your source water is toxic to the fish. As you note, rain all by itself 'changes' the water, putting whatever is in the air into your water, changing it that way too.

Makes you wonder how the static ponds in nature even exist, when you listen to those espousing regular water changes for their pond. Sure, our ponds are smaller, the fish density more, but the amount of decaying organics is a LOT higher in natural ponds, much more so than I bet any of our ponds. And gee, no water changes other than rain. Surprised the fish survive at all, ya know? ;) And of course, some don't, just like in our ponds.
 
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hint I put abs pipe on the bottom of the pond with holes and slits cut in it and it is hooked up to one of the pump hoses and push's the stuff off the bottom of the pond to the filters . I have 2 laguna pumps running so extra sump pump hose goes to the pvc pipes and the abs pipes ,. The more air and the more water moving keeps my pond clean . You can see my spitters and my hoses in my pond build . I have learned to see things differently
That was a thought i had last year but for some reason i didn’t do it but i will this year.
 
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My biggest problem let year was string algae.It was so bad that i couldn’t see my fish. It is easy to remove but it keeps coming back .
 

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that is why water movement and oxygen helps it stop spring this year at my pond and this is with all the rain we got
 

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I have two waterfalls, 1 jug and at night two bubbles turn on for 8 hours.
 

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sissy

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my waterfall ond spitters just pvc pipes and parts add air there also . I have 4 of them now , there was only 1 then 2 then 3 and then 4 . an aerated pond is a healthy pond and my laguna pumps had extra power to push water . I learned never to rely on just 0ne pond pump and now that is more true than ever and mine 2 don't use much power . I tested them with my watt tester and only 115 watts for both added together and can be less if I clean them better . mucky stuff inside them slows them down . i just turn the pump off and pull the cage and spray them off with the hose .
 

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brokensword

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My biggest problem let year was string algae.It was so bad that i couldn’t see my fish. It is easy to remove but it keeps coming back .
more plants, less feeding, or a lot more bog filtratrion (which gives you the more plants option easier and better); remember, small ponds are harder to manage than larger ones...
 
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HAIR ALGAE IS NOT A BAD THING BUT IT CAN GET OUT OF CONTROL . It is actually a sign of health believe it or not. What it truly is showing you is that there is an imbalance. That there is more nutrients in the water then there is contenders to absorb and consume those nutrients. So the idea is heavy bio load " leaves and such laying at the bottom of the pond" is going to decay in the water and release those nutrients into the water. Now who is going to take up those nutrients will it be the Plants in your system with the bog. plants that thrive and need compounds like potassium and nitrates. In the man made filters two very difficult products to remove. and the two largest contributors to algae.
Thus vacuum the bottom of the pond remove the leaves or netting is advised . but to drain the pond and remove the MUCK the layers of bacteria and algae is as @lisa said resulting in new pond syndrome where it's like starting over every year and yes you think it needs to be done again because at the end of the season as materials gather the algae starts but it has little bacteria and algae's and plants to help resolve the nutrient abundance
 
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hint I put abs pipe on the bottom of the pond with holes and slits cut in it and it is hooked up to one of the pump hoses and push's the stuff off the bottom of the pond to the filters . I have 2 laguna pumps running so extra sump pump hose goes to the pvc pipes and the abs pipes ,. The more air and the more water moving keeps my pond clean . You can see my spitters and my hoses in my pond build . I have learned to see things differently
Can't find that Pond Build Post?
 
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I just scoop the bottom, and sift through each net full to rescue the salamanders, and tadpoles, before I toss it.
 
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I have learned a lot on this forum and noticed folks here have very different ideas about maintaining a pond which is good
because it gives members many options .Like i said in a previous post i will vacuum the bottom without removing any water.
As far as cleaning the pumps i can get into the pond and do it.Thanks for all of your ideas.
 

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